Sagebrush Theatre hosts ‘Evening with Shakespeare’

Annette Ivins, Suzanne MacEwen and Shelbey Parrish concoct their witchy brew as Macbeth’s Weird Sisters. (HERALD PHOTO/Sheila McGuire)

EVANSTON — Local actors brought scenes from the works of William Shakespeare to life for audiences on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 17 and 18, when Sagebrush Theatre hosted “An Evening with Shakespeare” at the Strand Theatre. Scenes from three of the bard’s classic works as well as readings of some of his most famous sonnets were featured in the production.

The opening scene featured Annette Ivins, Shelbey Parrish, Suzanne MacEwen, Eric Dean and AJ Lamb in a scene from “Macbeth” featuring the three witches known as the Weird Sisters along with Banquo and Macbeth himself. In another scene from Macbeth, Katie Heckert played Lady Macbeth whose part in her husband’s murderous deeds begins to drive her to madness.

Readings of Shakespeare’s Sonnets 18 and 19 were given by Kayne Pyatt, followed by Lamb again taking the stage, this time as Hamlet in three of the doomed Danish prince’s soliloquies.

The evening closed with a strong performance from “Much Ado About Nothing” in which Rebecca and Kelson Hillstead played the roles of unlikely lovers Beatrice and Benedick.

Although a brief performance, the actors demonstrated their obvious affection for the works of Shakespeare and their handle on the notoriously difficult language.

The remainder of the 2020 season for Sagebrush will include the spring play, “The Cemetery Club,” on April 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18. Auditions for that production will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, and Monday, Jan. 27, at the Episcopal Church Rectory. Fall productions will include an evening of Edgar Allan Poe in October and the play, “A Gift to Remember” on Nov. 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21.

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